Field Studies

Real-Time VOC Analysis for Atmospheric Chemistry Field Studies


Chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) is an essential and well-established tool that has dramatically broadened our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. TOFWERK mass spectrometers have been used for atmospheric chemistry field research, often in remote locations and under challenging conditions. These mass spectrometers have been deployed on every continent, at both poles, and on ships, in vehicles, and in aircraft. Realtime, direct measurement capability, ultra-low detection limits, and a rugged platform that can be used with multiple CI sources have established TOFWERK’s leading reputation in atmospheric chemistry fieldwork.

For more information about TOF for atmospheric chemistry research, please contact our partner, Aerodyne Research:
Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Vocus PTR-TOF 


  • Real-Time VOC Analysis Using the Vocus PTR-TOF 

    • Highest sensitivity available with sub-ppt limits of detection
    • High mass resolving power enables identification of individual compounds within complex mixtures
    • Real-time and fast data output capturing rapid changes in VOC concentrations and suitable for mobile monitoring
    • Specialized software designed for automating field measurement

    What is PTR-MS?

    Example time series of ambient xylene concentrations recorded with the PTR-TOF 2R at 2 Hz. The inset demonstrates the precision and fast response during a period when concentrations were between 150 and 350 pptv.

  • Sensitive and Targeted Analysis With the API-TOF Platform

    • High-pressure ion-molecule reactor for soft ionization of complex molecules
    • Flexible platform adapts to multiple types of reagent ion chemistry
    • Measure particle-phase compounds with add-on filter accessory
    • Automated switching between different measurement regimes
    • Custom Tofware analysis software enables robust and nuanced data interpretation

    Atmospheric Chemistry Field Studies References

    Stein, Theo. Hundreds of scientists embark on mission aimed at improving air quality forecasts. 2019

    Yao et al. Atmospheric new particle formation from sulfuric acid and amines in a Chinese megacity. Science, 2018. DOI:10.1126/science.aao4839

    Frege et al. Chemical characterization of atmospheric ions at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland). Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2017. DOI:10.5194/acp-17-2613-2017

    Sipilä et al. Molecular-scale evidence of aerosol particle formation via sequential addition of HIO3. Nature, 2016DOI: 10.1038/nature19314

    Bianchi et al. New particle formation in the free troposphere: A question of chemistry and timing. Science, 2016.  DOI:10.1126/science.aad5456

    MOSAiC Expedition


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